EIU Board Approves Tuition and Housing Increase and Renames Douglas Hall
Published on April 25, 2022 08:38
Last updated on April 25, 2022 09:08
Written by Greg Sapp
(ONA NORTON…photo courtesy of Eastern Illinois University‘s Daily Eastern News)
Eastern Illinois University’s Board of Trustees approved tuition and housing increases and also decided to rename one of its residence halls.
The board voted to set tuition at $323.63 per credit hour for new undergraduate students beginning in fall 2022. The newly enacted rate represents a 2.4% increase and allows the EIU to remain the least expensive public university in Illinois.
New out-of-state undergraduates will see an increase of $9.86 per credit hour to $404.54. However, the EIU in-state tuition rate is available to students residing in states bordering Illinois (Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, and Wisconsin), which means that only students from Illinois out-of-state who reside in non-adjacent states will be affected. by updated out-of-state rates.
“Students not residing in states bordering Illinois have access to EIU’s in-state pricing,” said Josh Norman, associate vice president for enrollment management at EIU.
Norman said this is possible because of the EIU’s Distinguished Out-of-State Undergraduate Student Rate policy, which states that any undergraduate student, regardless of where they live, can qualify for rates in the Undergraduate Student Rate. state by meeting certain GPA criteria.
“Beyond that, EIU has a special ‘request for consideration’ form that allows EIU to consider all prospective undergraduate students for in-state fees,” Norman said. “This allows us to provide benefits to qualified, ambitious students who would be outstanding contributors to our campus community, regardless of what U.S. state they come from.”
Under the updated tuition package, graduate student rates will increase by $8.81 per credit hour and $21.15 per credit hour for non-Illinois residents.
Since 2005, tuition for new Illinois resident undergraduates must remain the same for four continuous academic years, which means new undergraduates starting at EIU in the fall of 2022 will will be guaranteed the same tuition rate throughout their university programs.
The EIU Board of Directors also unanimously approved slight increases to the Greek Residence and Courtyard accommodation and catering rates. Across all plan options, the approved amounts represent an increase of approximately 3% in accommodation rates and approximately 2.5% in food rates.
With the prior approval of the Student Senate, the tuition updates were also unanimously approved. In total, tuition will increase by $12.57 per credit hour to offset increased operating costs across the University.
During the public discussion, EIU board members noted that the increases were primarily market-driven, intended to offset inflation and rising operating costs while maintaining EIU’s reputation. as a high-quality, affordable first-choice option in Illinois higher education.
Additionally, EIU’s Board of Trustees also voted unanimously to change the name of one of its residence halls from Douglas Hall to “Powell-Norton Hall” in honor of Zella Powell and Ona Norton.
(ZELLA POWELL…photo courtesy of Eastern Illinois University’s Daily Eastern News)
Zella Powell is believed to be EIU’s first black graduate, graduating from Eastern State Normal School in 1910. Powell’s family emigrated from the South in the mid-1800s and became one of the founding families of Mattoon, his family owning a number of small businesses, persevering despite historic discrimination. Zella had a long career as an educator, first in Mattoon and then in Chicago. His career accomplishments inspired his own daughter to earn a master’s degree in library science in Michigan before establishing the Charles Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit with her husband.
Ona Norton was the matriarch of a black family in Charleston in the 1950s, when it was difficult for students of color to find off-campus housing in Charleston. Ona and her husband were approached by the EIU football coach to provide accommodation for some of the black student-athletes on the team. The Nortons accepted and hired seven students that year. Over time, the Nortons increased the number of students they helped house, eventually acquiring additional residence halls near campus in which to house the students. Ona was a respected member of the Charleston community, winning Woman of the Year recognition from the Chamber of Commerce in 1967. During her life in Charleston, Ona was very active with the Charleston Senior Center, the Wesley United Methodist Church and the Charleston Civic Association.
According to EIU’s April 2022 Board Report, “The inclusion of Zella Powell’s last name in this residency allows EIU to honor a pioneering family in Coles County while also honoring the first graduate black from EIU.” The report also adds that Norton’s name on the building “allows EIU to honor a pillar of the Charleston community who helped meet the housing needs of Black students, including student-athletes.”
After two previous attempts to consider renaming Douglas Hall, new efforts emerged in 2020 and gained traction following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. EIU’s Lincoln and Douglas Rooms were originally named in 1951 to commemorate the significance of a series of seven debates, one of which was held in Charleston, between outgoing U.S. Senator Stephen Douglas and the Senate candidate Abraham Lincoln in 1858 about the expansion of slavery in the new America. territories. A statement from the university read: “Over time, Stephen Douglas has become an increasingly controversial figure for deploying inflammatory and racist rhetoric as a means to achieve his political aspirations. These circumstances compelled the EIU to reinstate the university’s nominating committee again to reconsider Douglas Hall as a reflection of EIU’s commitment to diversity, inclusiveness and empowerment.Today’s board action was l culmination of these efforts and was undertaken after months of work to solicit, review and reflect a variety of campus, community and stakeholder feedback.Stephen Douglas’s name will be removed and disassociated from the longtime residence of EIU, other efforts to recognize the significance of the 1858 Lincoln-Douglas Debate in Charleston remain in place at the University and in the Charleston community.”
In another action, the EIU Board of Trustees voted to approve a new Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences. The program will complement EIU’s Gail and Richard Lumpkin School of Nursing to provide students with multiple pathways dedicated to a variety of health-related disciplines in health and social services.
For more information about EIU, or to learn more about its growing assortment of programs and services, visit the university’s website at www.eiu.eduor call the EIU Public Information Office at (217) 581-7400.